Once upon a time, a young girl called Florence Parr received a gift of a house from her parents for her fourth birthday. The dollhouse had been passed on through generations of children, and finally on to her. Her family had miracle kids who actually take care of their toys enough to pass them on when they are as good as new. This particular dollhouse had windows made of real glass, furniture and tins, none of which got lost throughout its journey through different children. She was smitten by the present and even assigned a family the house. The family consisted of a girl doll that had blond ringlets and round blue eyes, and a boy who had freckles and red hair. It made them so similar that Florence considered them to be a sister and brother. There was a mother doll, and finally a baby doll that was the biggest one of the dolls. Florence must have used unique criteria to form this amazing family that was too large to fit the dollhouse. Her doll family comfortably lived outside their house. They were called the Bartholomew’s, a name she derived from the family itself according to the gesture she gave her parents whenever they asked about the source of the name. She played with her dolls and punished them for their wrong doing. It was also strange when she undressed them for a shower. One would wonder why she did so, as there was nothing nasty to derive from them such as folds that harbor dirt. About forty years later, on a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Florence actually bumped into her dollhouse in life-size. The middle-aged woman was astonished at the sight that she braked her car so hard that it almost overturned. Sure enough, getting as close to it as is the nose from the eyes would help in confirming whether it looked like her dollhouse. In fact, she got out of the car to ensure that her windscreen did not obstruct her view of the house. She could not help but walk towards the entrance of the dollhouse. It was like it had blown up and gotten big enough for its residents to fit in. The dog that guarded the house was barking at her so hard as if it would swallow her alive the next minute. The beautiful woman went back to being a little insecure girl who was not sure of herself. She could have curled up in a corner if she could. Upon reaching the door step, the thought of ringing the door bell paralyzed her that she started calling out for help. The name that came out was “Florence Perr Florence Perr!” She really did need help from herself. The other time she ever got a panic attack had been as a result of the shock she got from lecturing about metaphysical poets sometime ago. However, she had called out to herself and saved the day then why not now. She contemplated how to ring the bell as a child contemplates on which side to start chewing their toy. She had to leave this place that got her spellbound. The rest of the day dragged itself by, but she felt as if she existed as a ghost. It did not seem real. She even had a feeling that she was going to address a weird meeting in a conference that seemed unreal. Her dollhouse was the only real thing in her mind. It was funny how she could not trust anybody with her story because all they were doing during dinner was shake her hands and grin at her. They were all over her seeking an introduction or a chat, oblivious of what was going on in her life. They were all staring at her as she gave her speech and agreed with everything that came out of her mouth, despite her having said the same thing anybody else who was not of her rank could have said. They all agreed with her as idiots who had never heard somebody else speak of declining enrollments and alumni support among other obvious things. Throughout the dinner, she was occupied with precious thoughts of the ugly house she had come across earlier on, and it distracted her. She could not understand how the people around her could not see it. Despite all these thoughts, the president of Champlain College knew she had to review her notes for the following day’s speech. She was considerate enough to tell her secretary not to type them because all she required the notes for was reference of relevant points. It was more efficient than having them typed, especially because even she could not decipher her very own handwriting sometimes. The temptation of drinking alcohol to drown the thoughts of her dolls (by dragging to sleep) eventually crossed her mind. However, she could not go through with it because she was alone. Nobody knew about her insomnia. She kept it secret, just like she had the removal of a benign lump from her breast after proper diagnosis and laboratory tests when she was thirty-eight. As she went through her notes, she could not help the thought of going back to the house and see its inhabitants. However, spontaneous people were immature and showy according to her, and of course she drove back to the house. Florence had had important issues to address in life and she let the irrelevant activities of life such as nurturing relationships and getting married pass her. Men were as irrelevant as bugs to her, and she barely noticed them even when she had been much younger. She had been oblivious to men even in her young age and she could not even recall the name of one of her suitors who had worked in a store next to hers sometime ago. She was surprised at one of her suitors whose life and mind were so unoccupied that he could even recall her outfits during the times they were neighbors at the retail shop. However, she looked back and was amazed at how happy people seemed at the party yet they were bombarded with loads of problems. She settled for the fact that everybody has a public personality and private personality that he or she display based on convenience. She was much better at it than anybody she knew. It was at 10:35 that she decided to knock. She knocked on a stranger’s door, and a young man (who fit the description of an old man in stature) opened the door. He looked as ragged as the house he was living. He was sure she was trustworthy, having appeared at his doorstep for the first time and he did not act suspicious or uncomfortable because of Florence. The uptight woman let loose and talked freely about the furniture as if she had ever touched it before. The dog that had been barking at her came into the house and even lay at Florence’s feet because she was a visitor and she was trustworthy. She thought that the dog was so ugly that she could not help but state how handsome he was when her host enquired whether the dog was a bother. Florence seldom told lies and, after taking the bitterest cup of coffee she had ever had, she could not help but inquire about the whereabouts of the Bartholomew whom she claims to have known during her childhood. Her host, who was very polite, told her outright that she was lying, and even implied that she had urinated on the floor. The forty year old was so frightened that she begged for him to leave her alone and even started to cry. Florence was so scared that she wished she could burry herself. The man who had hosted her even went ahead to scare her by clapping his hands too close to her face as if sending away a fly and eventually slapping her for telling a lie, asking for Bartholomew who did not exist. He even went ahead to call her a liar and a bad girl. Back home, she was busy preparing for her next major conference and she received a cash honorarium for her fake speech back in Pennsylvania and that immediately brought back the memories of her dream about people giving her reassuring handshakes by a lake. She was still “Honorable” Florence.
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